A Product of Hope

The Bank Windhoek Cancer Apple Project has been recognised at the 2018 World Cancer Congress (WCC) as one of the ‘global innovative projects of hope’ for this year’s assembly, scheduled to take place from Monday, 1 October to Thursday, 4 October in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

An initiative of Bank Windhoek in support of Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN), the project was started in 2000 with the aim of raising awareness of cancer and the Bank making a N$25 000 donation toward the cause. 18 years later, the project has become the biggest fundraiser for health in Namibia, with more than N$20 million raised since its inception. Last year alone, a record amount of N$3 million was raised through the sale of apples throughout Namibia.
Rolf Hansen, CEO of the Cancer Association of Namibia will present an abstract at the international event under the heading ‘An apple a day, helps keep cancer away’, while the Bank Windhoek Cancer Apple Project will be showcased as part of the session themed ‘Global Fundraising/ Spotlight On Innovative Fundraising Models’.
“What we’ll be doing is to tell the world about our National Outreach Programme, we can learn from other countries but at this platform, I am also going to teach other low income countries best practices, what we’ve learnt, what worked and what didn’t so that we can empower those nations”, said Hansen.
“Namibia is paying it forward. What the Bank Windhoek Cancer Apple Project has realised in the past 18 years is that it is now time to plough back into communities, strategically with knowledge and wisdom and to pay it forward to other countries.“
This international recognition of innovative fundraising is the culmination of the impact made by the local Namibia National Cancer Outreach Programme (NCOP). Funded primarily by the proceeds raised through the Bank Windhoek Cancer Apple Project, NCOP’s main aim is to educate, break the stigma associated with cancer and screen people from all walks of life in all 14 regions of Namibia.
The goal of the Programme is early detection and subsequent treatment, which impacts and saves lives. Since 2015, more than 20 000 people countrywide have been screened free of charge. Funds raised through the Bank Windhoek Cancer Apple Project have also been used to establish the CAN Erongo Centre, where an increase in the incidences of cancer has been observed. The CAN Erongo Centre provides screening services to the public as well as psycho-social support.
Funds raised through the 2015 Bank Windhoek Cancer Apple Project were also used to establish the CHICA Interim Home in 2016. CHICA focusses on assisting children with cancer and their families and the Interim Home houses them when they are in Windhoek for treatment.
“This year alone, 3 438 women have been screened for breast and cervical cancer through the Outreach Programme and of those, 223 resulted in the early detection of cervical cancer that can be treated. This translates into 223 lives saved”, continues Hansen.
The fundraising efforts and initiatives that go into the Bank Windhoek Cancer Apple Project every year is a demonstration of the sustainability of the Project, both in collecting much needed funds as well as being able to build the capacity of the NCOP so that they can deliver the much needed screening services across the country. The Bank Windhoek Cancer Apple Project also epitomises the Capricorn Group’s vision of being a connector of positive change.
“The Bank Windhoek Cancer Apple Project has become more than just buying apples for cancer, it has become a project of hope,” said Jacquiline Pack, Executive Officer for Marketing and Corporate Communications at Bank Windhoek. “Buying an apple now means giving people the opportunity to get screened and treated for cancer. Your N$5 gives hope to those who need it and helps save lives.

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